Kamala Harris, Joe Biden Announce Launch of Black Voter Outreach Initiative

by Xara Aziz
YouTube via PBS NewsHour

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to launch their national Black voter outreach initiative with a rally in Philadelphia on Wednesday. This move aims to reinforce support among a crucial demographic in Pennsylvania, a pivotal battleground state for the 2024 election, according to the campaign.

The rally will take place at Girard College, a predominantly Black boarding school serving students from grades 1-12 from financially limited households. Biden and Harris will be joined by the school’s students and their families, as well as Black leaders such as Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, members of Congress, mayors, HBCU presidents, and leaders from unions and advocacy groups.

The outreach program, named Black Voters for Biden-Harris, will include an eight-figure investment, though the campaign did not disclose the exact amount, according to ABC News.

The campaign said it “believes that Black voters deserve to hear from Team Biden-Harris, and they deserve to have their vote earned, not assumed.” A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll indicates Biden’s support among Black voters has decreased significantly since 2020, with 74% currently backing him compared to 87% in the last election.

Former President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee, has been actively courting Black voters. Last week, he held a rally in the predominantly Black and Brown South Bronx, New York, and participated in photo ops at fast food restaurants. Trump has also suggested that his criminal indictment could help him connect with Black voters, a claim Biden’s team has called “blatantly racist.”

In response, the Biden campaign recently released TV and radio ads in major cities in battleground states, criticizing Trump for “disrespecting Black folk” as part of their effort to counter his attempts to gain support from Black voters.

At the Philadelphia rally, Biden and Harris will be introduced by Lina Mayen, a first-generation Sudanese American and Temple University student burdened by the cost of higher education, and Robert N.C. Nix III, a small business owner whose airport concessions business struggled during the pandemic.

“While we are busy putting in the work to earn Black America’s support — Donald Trump continues to show just how ignorant he is,” Biden’s principal deputy campaign director Quentin Fulks said in a statement. “Hosting janky rap concerts to hide the fact that he lacks the resources and competence to genuinely engage our community.”

Following the rally, Biden will visit a local Black-owned business for an organizing event with the Black Chamber of Commerce. Later in the day, there will also be a phone banking event featuring Rep. Barbara Lee, the campaign stated.

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